Be a light in the darkness

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Steadfast and immovable”
Our Bible verse for today: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be a light in the darkness”
I recently came across two short stories shared by Robert Wicks in his book “The Simple Care of a Hopeful Heart”, which touched my heart. The first was about Gerda Weissman Klein, a holocaust survivor. She told of something a friend in the concentration camp did for her: “Isle, a childhood friend of mine, once found a raspberry in the concentration camp and carried it in her pocket all day to present it to me that night on a leaf. Imagine a world in which your entire possession is one raspberry and you give it to your friend?”
What a tender expression of love and kindness! In the middle of that dark and sinister world in a concentration camp, Isle was a ray of light and love for Gerda. This is the kind of act Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5:16 in the Sermon on the Mount. There He urged His followers to go out into this dark world of ours and to be a ray of light and love – to shine the light of God’s love into the dark places of the world. And please note that He said to do it through good works, through simple acts of kindness and love.
The second story came from the same book. It too came from a scene in a concentration camp, and it too had to do with shining light into dark places – only this time, the act of simple love and kindness came from a surprising source. This story involved a group of men who had adopted a stray dog that had somehow wandered into the camp and taken up residence with them in their bunkhouse. One day, as the group was returning after an impossibly long day of brutal labor, the dog greeted them as they returned. The pup was vigorously wagging his tail, yipping and yapping, and even spinning in circles in joy at the return of his friends. The men said that dog brought indescribable joy into their otherwise dark lives.
As a dog owner and dog lover, I can especially relate to the dog story, but both of them remind me of a challenging statement I came across one time, and which I wrote down and keep in my Bible. It reads, “As I go through life, do I leave blessings in my wake; do I leave a trail of gladness behind? Let it be said that, ‘He went about doing good and blessing people.” This is what Jesus calls us to. In a dark world, we are to shine the light of the love of Jesus – and we are to do it through our good works.
I encourage you to be steadfast and resolute in your determination to be a force for good in our broken and bleeding world.
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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